Breast cancer has become a highly debated issue in the past three weeks, especially after scientists brought “stage 0 cancer”into focus. While women represent the vast majority who have to dope with breast cancer, men can also develop it. They, too, can choose what treatments to undergo or not and it turns out that CPM, or more widely known as contralateral prophylactic mastectomy, is their top choice when it comes to dealing with breast cancer.
A very interesting pattern was observed by Dr. Ahmedin Jemal, the vice president of surveillance and health services research within the American Cancer Society. According to Dr. Jemal, the increased popularity of mastectomy is rather difficult to explain because this method is costly and it does not provide any sort of evidence that the patients will survive longer.
At the same time, this trend has occurred in an historical moment when specialists are very interested in how well cancer patients are treated and the very quality of procedures is always questioned so that improvements can be made constantly.
The North American Association of Central Cancer Registries have put some accurate numbers to the public’s disposal, revealing findings from research conducted by the American Cancer Society as well as the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. The studies gave insight as to how approximately 6.500 men who underwent surgery in between 2004 and 2011 preferred their treatment. It appears that the CPM rate has risen from 3% in 2004 to 5.6% in 2011.
The only clear differences in between men and women were as follows: men were, most of the time, younger, they had health insurances and were mostly white. However, the reasoning behind CPM is different in men compared to women. This might be perhaps because breast cancer in men is quite rare, encompassing approximately 1% of all the cases in America.
Obviously, women who choose CPM are larger in numbers compared to men, but the male population’s desire for this treatment has risen by a lot from 2.2% in 1998 to 11% in 2011. Before they undergo the surgery, there are many variables that need to be taken into consideration: family history, genetics, MRIs and sometimes even the fear of developing breast cancer is considered a very plausible threat.
Dr. Jemal did not avoid to advise caution, explaining that doctors should have long conversations with their patients and explaining what the exact drawbacks and benefits are concerning treatment. The trend is not only interesting to notice, but it puts, yet again, pressure onto the quality of breast cancer treatment.
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